Successful companies actively cultivate new ideas, put those ideas to work quickly and efficiently, and harvest the business value benefits of successful innovations. Discussions of innovation often focus on what a company offers, that is, its products and services.
In Managing Information Technology Innovation for Business Value, Esther Baldwin and Martin Curley show how successful IT innovations pay back handsomely as well. Innovation is not just about what a company offers, innovation is also about how a company conducts business and how IT in support of innovation can transform an organization into a significantly more efficient company.
Drawing on their experience with innovation in Intel's engineering operations, Baldwin and Curley emphasize that IT innovation does not require whole-scale invention. An innovative IT solution reapplied in a new context can provide even greater business value because the initial investment in developing the solution has already been made. Baldwin and Curley highlight the importance of diffusion, which in the context of IT innovation is the acceptance of a new IT solution. An innovation leading to a quality IT solution that does not diffuse cannot contribute to business value.
The authors provide a multitude of techniques and methods that improve the likelihood of successful diffusion. User-centered design, for example, increases the likelihood of a successful match between an innovative IT solution and the needs of a community of users.
Managing Information Technology Innovation for Business Value includes examples and case studies from IT organizations as well as from Intel Corporation. It also includes assessment techniques, skill set descriptions, and a capability maturity framework to help IT organizations understand where they stand as innovators and what steps they can take to strengthen their competencies.